Am I fucked?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by seanjohn, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. seanjohn

    seanjohn Regular Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    I signed up for BHW a few months back to find ways to promote my website. My website is retail, I sell custom but official Reebok NHL hockey jerseys and clothes to people across the web. The problem is: there are more authoritative websites on the web that sell NHL hockey jerseys than Google can fit on page one. My site started ranking well, but there was no way I could touch page 1, and therefore organic traffic was next to nothing.

    So I turned to eBay. Now, the problem with eBay: You're competing with knock offs, and people who sell at nearly next to nothing markup, which makes it nearly impossible to compete. So, while I sold a bunch of jerseys on eBay, there was no profit.

    My (ex)business partner found a cheap place for us ($400 a month) on the busiest street in my city. It gets lots of walk-in traffic and sales, which is great.

    Let's get right to the meat of my problem:

    The building that I do business out of has other businesses as well. Between August and this month, EVERY business pulled out, leaving me to be the only business in the building. The landlord gave me a months notice (yesterday, exactly 1 month before XMAS) that I A) find other business to occupy the building, B) Pay $1300 per month to utilize the whole building or he will C) Convert the building into residential and therefore my hockey jerseys business will need to find another location (HIGHLY unlikely for under $1000 per month).

    I took out about $40,000 in small business loans for the business in the past year to buy stock (jerseys, hats, shirts), so I have a ton of stock on hand that only maybe 1/4 will move by Christmas.

    What I've learned so far:

    1st lesson: Retail sucks. Long hours, minimal markup. This is NOT a get rich quick method. I don't know how mom and pop shops survive unless they are offering their own in-house products and services.

    2nd lesson: Don't believe what everyone says. The whole reason why I got into selling NHL jerseys was because my (ex)business partner couldn't stop talking about how his old store was making so much money from hockey jerseys. His old store went bankrupt during the 2005 NHL lockout because of lack of sales (and he was in the middle of renovating his store). He promised to bring over his previous experience from his store over to our new business, and eventually bailed.

    3rd lesson: RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. Sure, there is a HUGE demand for sport apparel, but if the supply (competition) is also HUGE, then getting a piece of that pie is going to take a fight.

    So, as of January 1st, I won't have a place to operate out of anymore, I'll be stuck with lots of debt, but on the "upside", I'll have a huge collection of jerseys.

    That's not really the thing I'm pissed about, it's the fact that I'll be obligated to get a 9-5 J.O.B. which I vowed to myself that I will never work another 9-5er again.

    I'm an entrepreneur through and through. I love creating ideas and products that intrigue people, and finding ways to make profit from them. Though, as of right now I haven't been able to generate profit from ideas! (I guess that's what BHW is for!) I'm sure more opportunities will come along as time goes by.

    I just wanted to share my store with you guys, because it's better to learn from other people's mistakes than to make the same mistakes yourself.
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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  2. zenerchi

    zenerchi Regular Member

    Jul 13, 2009
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    Building wealth and refreshing my stats page
    dont worry bro. you seem like your gonna get money one way another and youve found your gold mind. just pick an area of the internet you want to make money in craigslist, cookiestuffing, seo, ewhoring etc and just search on here and read read read. Youll make money dont worry
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  3. ClThis

    ClThis Regular Member

    Oct 27, 2009
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    Merchant Services
    I love this post. For many reasons, I feel your pain. My junior year in college I started selling furniture out of a garage with a friend, it turned into getting a sales contract and opening a store downtown.

    We used the local cl to boost traffic because foot traffic was pretty low. It worked and we moved a lot of products but I sold my equity in it to someone else and got the f out.

    Markup is barely anything, like you said. It is hard to make a buck off of a mom and pop store and unless you are dealing in huge quantity it is really not worth it. My kudos go out to you for doing it! I feel the stress, we were forced to move because the person we were subleasing from was taking out money and not paying the rent with it...

    The property management company took them to court and we were out of a place. It was that simple.

    You'll be fine, I know you learned a hell of a lot!
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